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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – December 6th, 2019

Fri, 06 Dec 2019, 13:01 pm UTC

U.S. financial regulators call for continued monitoring of digital assets and DLTs
The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is urging federal and state regulators to continue monitoring risks from digital assets and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) to the financial system. In its 2019 annual report, the FSOC panel noted the ongoing innovations in the payments landscape, including digital assets and stablecoins.

France to launch CBDC trial by end of Q1 2020
The Banque de France is planning to launch test experiments for the development of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) geared towards financial firms. Bank of France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau said that the trial will kick off by the end of Q1 2020. Retail payments will be excluded for the initiative and Villeroy said that cryptocurrency involving this sector will be subject to strict regulatory oversight.

China launches national blockchain initiative to support smart cities and digital economy
The State Information Centre (SIC), China Mobile, and UnionPay jointly sponsored the first Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference on Dec. 01, according to local news outlets. An announcement to establish the Blockchain Service Network Alliance (BSN) was made during the conference, along with the initial members joining the initiative. This includes Huobi China, China Merchants Bank International, China UnionPay, China Mobile, China Telecom, and WeBank.

China’s Hainan announces new measures, $142M fund to support blockchain industry
Hainan, an island province of China, has released a set of measures to accelerate the development of blockchain industry in the region, Xinhua reported. The measures were announced by China’s first blockchain pilot zone in the Hainan pilot free trade zone (FTZ). Importantly, a special fund of 1 billion yuan (approximately $142 million) will be set up to support blockchain companies.

Bank of Russia supports idea to impose cryptocurrency ban
Last week, the Bank of Russia told state-operated news agency RIA that cryptocurrencies carry “significant risks”, including their potential to be used for money laundering and terrorism financing activities as well as sharp exchange rate fluctuations. “In our opinion, private cryptocurrencies cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender. If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position,” the central bank added.

South Africa to introduce new crypto law to stop people from moving large funds outside the country
The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) is slated to place new regulations around digital currencies in an attempt to stop people from circumventing how rand – its currency – is moved in the country. Sarb deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said last week that the new rules will come into effect in the first quarter of 2020, although no specific date has been set at the time of publication.

Dutch crypto companies cry foul about over-restrictive alterations in AML regulations
Dutch regulators are currently in dispute with crypto companies over the application of an anti-money laundering law that is stifling the growth of the blockchain industry. These fledgling crypto firms are arguing that the restrictions aren’t just too tight but have also been pulled from legislation that was meant to stop the 2008 financial crisis from happening again.

Reserve Bank of India governor against the development of private digital currencies
The central bank of India is against the development of private digital currencies. This is the statement released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday, Dec. 5. Das argues that currency issuance is a sovereign function and should not be handled by any entity other than the sovereign itself.

British Virgin Islands to develop stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has announced the development of its own digital currency. Called BVI-LIFE, the digital currency will take the form of a stablecoin and will be pegged to the U.S. dollar 1:1. The BVI has tapped to develop the stablecoin. This maneuver is part of BVI’s plan to transition to the digital ledger in an attempt to streamline its operations and foster the growth of the fintech sector, LIFELabs said in a blog.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka planning to create blockchain-based KYC platform; Interested companies encouraged to apply
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has published an open call to blockchain developers to help it create a know-your-customer (KYC) platform proof of concept (POC). The announcement was posted on Nov. 29 at the CBSL’s website.

Company News

  • OneConnect seeks to raise $500M for its upcoming IPO amidst global expansion of parent company Ping An
  • Blockchain firm Figure Technologies hits $1.2B valuation after closing $103M Series C round
  • DeFi startup secures $2M seed funding from Placeholder, Ventures, Gnosis
  • Crypto exchange Binance seeks to boost dapps ecosystem with its fourth acquisition
  • Blockchain firm ChromaWay acquires Antler Interactive after setting up its gaming arm Chroma Studios
  • Waves’ decentralized exchange shuts down, resumes operations as hybrid crypto exchange
  • Canadian mining firm goes belly up; Owes local, federal government hundreds of thousands
  • Decentralized exchange CryptoBridge to shut down operations
  • Personal finance company SoFi secures BitLicense to offer crypto trading in New York
  • 21 crypto exchanges now registered with Japan’s FSA; Lastroots latest to win approval
  • Ripple asks court to dismiss XRP securities lawsuit in latest filing ahead of court meeting

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